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PBS News Hour

News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Us 16, Sandy 12, Romney 11, Rickard 11, America 11, Newark 7, Obama 7, Irene 5, Ohio 5, Washington 5, Florida 5, Dan 4, San Francisco 4, Virginia 4, New Jersey 4, U.s. 4, North Carolina 3, Dan Balz 3, James Franklin 3, Google 2,
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  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff,  
   Jeffrey Brown.  (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 29, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: millions of americans braced for a powerful hit from hurricane sandy, as it barreled toward the east coast today. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, we look at what state and local officials have done to prepare and examine why the storm is so large and dangerous. >> ifill: then, we turn to the presidential race, as the weather forces both candidates to cancel dozens of campaign stops. we get analysis from susan page and dan balz. >> woodruff: the political campaigns know more about you than you think. we have the first of two reports from hari sreenivasan on efforts to track voters online.
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>> this could be the year that digital strategies decide what is shaping up to be a razor-close election, but who is watching us and how much do they know about us? >> ifill: jeffrey brown talks with author bill ivey about his prescription for remaking america's democracy. >> well, i think what we need is to rediscover progressive values and put them forward. i'm arguing for not bigger government but i think different government. >> woodruff: and scott schaefer of public television's kqed profiles a photographer who uses google's street view images to create art. >> you have this distinct feeling of decay. the images almost challenge the viewer. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs
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and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: hurricane sandy began battering its way ashore today, threatening days of destruction. the huge system had 50 million people in its sights and was already being called a superstorm. the winds grew stronger by the hour. and the rain poured harder, soaking the east coast as the hurricane closed in. nine states declared emergencies, and people up and down the coast braced for heavy flooding, wind damage, and resulting power outages. >> i just got another load of sandbags to put around the doors to keep the water out. got the generator ready to go. and we're going to sit there and ride it out. no place else to go. >> i am worried. there's a reason to be worried. but we're going to hope for the best. that's all. you know what? it's just a home. it's just a house. we're safe.
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that's what we care about. >> ifill: forecasts have the center of sandy striking in southern new jersey and then turning north with tropical storm force winds blasting a broad path through the mid atlantic and northeast. seen from space the storm looks even more enormous stretching nearly 1,000 miles from end to end. it threatened to dump a foot of rain in places and hit shorelines with a storage surge of four to eleven feet of water. the hurricane had already killed 69 people as it passed through the caribbean. with that in mind, new jersey governor chris christie issued a blunt warning to anyone thinking of riding out the storm. >> this is not a time to be a show-off. this is not a time to be stupid. this is a time to try to save yourself and your family. everybody thinks they're smarter than we are here. maybe they are. but not about this. >> ifill: in new york city officials shut down all transit services and ordered nearly 400,000 people to evacuate
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low-lying areas. hours before sandy hit, high water blew on to the board walk in battery park at the southern tip of manhattan. high winds also left a construction crane dangling from the top of a 55-story building. even the stock market closed due to weather for the first time in nearly 30 years. it will remain closed tomorrow. the nation's capital followed suit, shutting down public transportation, schools, and federal offices. president obama canceled a campaign rally in florida and flew back to washington, appearing early this afternoon to promise federal help. >> i'm extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials. the conversations that i've had with all the governors indicate that at this point there are no unmet needs. i think everybody is taking this very seriously. we've got... prepositioned all the resources that we need. but right now the key is to make sure that the public is
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following instructions. keep in mind that for folks who are not following instructions, if you are not evacuating when you've been asked to evacuate, you're putting first responders at danger. >> ifill: on sunday things seemed less urgent for some, taking pictures at ocean city maryland. but by this afternoon, waves were pounding that beach. governor martin o'malley warned of much worse. >> we are ordering and urging all marylanders to stay off the roads for next 36 hours. there are very dangerous conditions out there. we ask you not to put yourselves or your family in jeopardy. >> ifill: norfolk, virginia also had flooding as the storm passed on sunday. in addition a number of states closed schools for at least two days. and canceled was the word of the day for air travel as well. with more than 7,000 flights grounded at east coast airports. >> i really hope that i get to get out of here before the heavy weather hits. i come from florida.
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so i'm kind of hoping just to get out of the way of the storm. >> ifill: but not everyone managed to get out of the way. the coast guard rescued 14 crew members from a replica tall ship, the h.m.; bounty sailing off cape hatteras north carolina. two were still missing. for more about the hurricane and what's to come, we turn to james franklin of the national hurricane center. i spoke with him this afternoon. james franklin, welcome. so tonight, is sandy picking up steam? >> sandy accelerated during the day today. taking it a little bit faster towards the coast, that's right. >> ifill: where is it going to hit? >> well, we're looking at the southern part of new jersey, somewhere in there. but it's really more important to talk about the overall effects of the storm because the effects are spreading from new england all the way through the mid atlantic states. the center location is not particularly important. >> ifill: does this feel to you like a once in a lifetime weather event? >> i have been in this business for 30 years now.
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i can't remember anything quite like it. >> ifill: can you explain for us how this hybrid storm came together. >> normally what happens as we get towards the latter part... (no audio) a very large area of high pressure that got in the way of sandy, turned it back and at the same time we had a shot of energy from the upper levels of the atmosphere that came all the way from pacific canada across the united states. it reached the system at the upper levels earlier today, spun it up. allowed it to get stronger at a time when systems usually weaken. >> ifill: we're used to hearing about hurricanes in late summer, early fall. how unusual is it to see an october hurricane? >> october hurricanes are not unusual. in fact after sandy is gone, we
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will have another full month of the hurricane season to go. it runs through november 0. the normal favored area for those late season storms is more of the caribbean. but we can certainly have them here as we do now. >> ifill: you mentioned the breadth of the storm. as this one comes ashore, where is it more dangerous? the center of the storm or the edges? >> every single tropical sigh lone the different. we have different hazards. we have a wind hazard, rain, flooding, storm surge and we have tornadoes. in this case we have one that we normally don't talk about and that's snow because again it's a combination of hurricane and wintertime low. in this case, the threat that we're most concerned about is the storm surge because we could have eleven feet of water in long island sound or american bay and amounts almost that high along the jersey coast and southern new england. those are water levels high enough to kill people if they stayed when they shouldn't have. >> ifill: is it the cumulative
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effect of all of that rainfall that makes up the storm surge? >> what we're talking about with those six to eleven feet is the combination of surge and tide. the amount of water above the ground. i'm 5'6, and eleven foot of water puts me in a real bad place. we're talking about water above your head. that's why people needed to evacuate. >> ifill: how would you compare this storm on other major storms we've lived through like katrina or like irene? >> every storm is different, as i said. we have their own hazards. irene was a storm that moved parallel to the coast with most of the heaviest weather to the right so there were a lot of folks very close to the center in new jersey, for example, that didn't really know that there was a lot going on. this storm instead, first of all, it's much larger than irene. it's coming directly at the coast instead of parallelling it. the effects are spanning hundreds and hundreds of miles, much more so than irene. >> ifill: this storm is hovering with lots of rain centered over
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one area. how many days do you expect we'll be coping with the fallout from all of that? >> well, i think that it's going to take until wednesday before conditions really significantly improve so that people can get back and start looking at what happened. tomorrow it's still going to be a bad day because the system is going to slow down once it gets towards pennsylvania. it will weaken, but it's going to take a long time for this system to wind down. >> ifill: james franklin of the national hurricane center, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: now, a closer look at what officials on the ground have been doing to prepare for the storm's blow. ray suarez spoke by phone a short time ago with cory booker, the mayor of newark, new jersey. suarez: welcome to the program. whether you're looking at the video from ground zero or looking at newark from space, it looks like the area is going to get hit pretty hard. what have you seen on the streets of your city? >> it's starting to get bad already. already we see branches coming
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down, power lines coming down. we have not seen the worst of it. we're going to see in many ways a pretty savage alignments of high tide, the peak of the storm surge, a full moon, all going to bring an unprecedented amount of water. into our city. this is an epic storm. very unpredictable. it's going to bring a lot of challenges to emergency workers. that is why we need residents to use common sense. if they're in flooded areas, use remaining hour or two before the peak of the storm to evacuate. call for needed information. stay hunkered down and off the road. if you are in a safe location now. >> suarez: mayor, we should give people a newark geography lesson. while you aren't right on the ocean, you do have an awful lot of waterfront. are there areas in the city that are vulnerable to flooding? >> absolutely. our city is right along the river. many people do know newark for being a port city. we are right into the bay there.
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so a lot of new jersey is on coast line. a lot of cities like mine and new york city, jersey city, were all right along water. we've seen traditionally, especially last year with irene, significant flooding. but what's different this year is this storm is, as i said before, epic. it will last in duration perhaps twice as long as irene and it will bring about a significantly more water into our city. so we're expecting roads being backed up, communities really being under large amounts of water, power outages that could last for days if not well more than a week. all of this means that we have to now fight the storm as it is but the after math will be a very difficult time of clean-up as well. >> suarez: what's the best advice you're getting about when the worst of the storm is going to hit newark? >> well, we know in about an hour or two, that's when the
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significant time, 6-hour period, which we are going to be at our peak of this state of emergency, by 8:00 tonight, that's when high tide will come and the storm surges will really bring on the water and, unfortunately, we think we're going to have from then more than a 24-hour period of challenges: rain, wind, waters. as this storm sits on us and slowly moves over. so this is just not a time to not use common sense. if there's a moment to embrace prudence, common sense and proactive thinking in these remaining hours if not minutes, we need everyone to be focused first and foremost on safety and security. and get yourself into a location where you can be safe. if you can't, reach out to authorities like those in my city to help get you into a shelter. but this is going to be a very difficult, very long time. and the best advantage we have is the common sense,
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intelligence and forward-thinking of our community. >> suarez: newark is a pretty densely populated place. it's got a lot of multiple dwellings. also a lot of elderly and low-income people. are there any special challenges that come with your particular profile during a national disaster like this one? >> you know, absolutely. urban areas are often areas that bring a lot of homeless folks for the resources, transportation and so we spanned out earlier today to identify places where homeless folks congregate and move them into shelters. we have people that are heavily reliant on public transportati transportation. that obviously was shut down in the state of new jersey hours ago. so it always puts the burden on us to be a far more proactive and assist people. frankly this is what i like about the spirit of my city is during times of crisis it's good to see everybody helping other people out, reaching out to seniors who are shut in. making sure they have supplies. so we're operating in every way possible from using traditional
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means of communication, using social media. i'm on my twitter account throughout the day and night just trying to respond to people who might be in need. but again the most powerful force we have against this storm is the common sense, the prudence, the caution of our community. last year in irene, i saw unfortunately people making bad decisions, going out in the storm, thinking their car could move through a flooded street and see my emergency personnel have to do heroic things, putting their lives at risk. putting their families in jeopardy. by having to wade into very difficult situations to rescue people. we do not want to see that this year. what we want to see this year is more of what i know is the spirit of our city which is the spirit of intelligence, the spirit of forward-thinking, caution, prudence. that will get us through this difficult time. >> suarez: cory booker is the mayor of newark, new jersey. good luck, sir, and thanks for joining us. >> thank you for keeping the
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focus on the problem and alerting the people to all the issues. >> ifill: still to come on the >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, the presidential contest, eight days out; the campaigns gather digital information about voters; a progressive's vision for remaking government; and creating art from google's street view. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: americans are showing greater confidence in the economy and buying more. the commerce department reported today that consumer spending rose .08% last month, the best showing since february. consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% of the u.s. economy. the potential for government eavesdropping on americans was back before the u.s. supreme court today. lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists argued they should be allowed to challenge parts of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. they argued innocent americans could be caught up in electronic spying on foreign targets. the justice department called that claim a "cascade of speculation." in syria, heavy air raids pounded the suburbs of damascus,
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syria, after a temporary truce collapsed over the weekend. this was supposed to be the fourth and final day of a u.n.- backed cease-fire, timed to coincide with a muslim holiday. but today, as many as 60 government air strikes hit rebel targets around the country. a car bomb also went off in the capital city, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 40 others. activists also reported at least 150 people were killed in violence on sunday. the city of san francisco celebrated the giants' latest world series championship today. fans poured into the streets last night after their team swept the detroit tigers. the giants won 4-3 in ten innings to take their second title in three years. no national league team had swept a world series since the 1990 cincinnati reds. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: it's become a ritual of modern presidential elections to look for an "october surprise," a late- breaking development that requires both sides to recalibrate.
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this year, it's come in the form of a massive storm. . >> crowley: scrambled campaign plans whether they were in the area affected by the hurricane or not. republican challenger mitt romney went ahead and held a rally in avon lake, ohio, this morning but said everyone's thoughts should be with those in the storm's path. >> u.s. with full hearts and clear eyes can see what's happening across the country right now. and on the eastern coast of our nation, a lot of people are enduring some very difficult times. we face these kind of challenges before. as we have it's good to see how americans come together. this looks like another time when we need to come together all across the country, even here in ohio, and make sure that we give of our support to the people who need it. >> woodruff: romney planned an afternoon event in iowa before suspending his schedule tonight when the hurricane is is coming ashore. instead, his campaign loaded emergency supplies on to the
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romney bus in virginia to deliver to storm relief centers after sandy hits. president obama had been in orlando, florida, last night. he delivered pizzas to a local campaign office but called off an appearance there today with former president clinton. >> which means that, you know, that's going to be putting a little bit more burden on folks in the field because i'm not going to be able to campaign quite as much over the next couple of days. >> woodruff: still neither side could afford to let sandy derail all campaigning. so mr. clinton soldiers on in his absence. >> i say let's give the jobs to the man who has done the job so he can finish the job. >> woodruff: in his white house statement on the hurricane tod today, the president said politics would simply take a back seat for now. >> i am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. i'm worried about the impact on families. i'm worry about the impact on
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our first responders. i'm worried about the impact on our economy. and on transportation. the election will take care of itself next week. >> woodruff: in all, the hurricane forced cancellation of two dozen campaign events on both sides. it could spell trouble for early voting in a number of states. over the weekend, hundreds of people showed up at polling places in maryland, trying to get in their vote before sandy strikes. voting there was canceled today. nearby virginia was one of several battle ground states in the storm's path. election officials there eased absentee voting requirements for those affected. all of that may create even more uncertainty in a race that's already a toss-up. a new pew research center poll found the contest dead even among likely voters nationally with both candidates getting 47%. as a result, major endorsements
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may become even more crucial for the two camps. the "new york times" endorsed the president for re-election over the weekend. while iowa's largest newspaper, the des moines register, endorsed romney. it had not backed a republican for president since 1972. as for the vice presidential running mates, both remained on the campaign trail with just eight precious days before election day. republican paul ryan was in florida. and vice president biden replaced the president at a late day event in ohio. so what impact will the storm have on the final week of the so what impact will the storm have on the final week of the race? to examine that and the state of the campaign, we are joined by susan page, washington bureau chief of "u.s.a. today," and dan balz, chief correspondent of the "washington post." welcome to you both. dan, to you first. what effect is this big storm having on the campaign? >> well, as you've reported, it has shut down campaign activity
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for the most part. that will continue to be the case at least until wednesday when both campaigns re-evaluate whether it's prudent or proper for either president obama or governor romney to return to the campaign trail. they're operating with very little information. we can't know at this point just how devastating the damage might turn out to be. as a result i think both campaigns are being very cautious about what they do other than paying attention to the storm. >> woodruff: susan, what's your read on how the campaigns are dealing with all this? >> i think there are two things to look at. one is just the logistics, for instance, does this storm affect early voting that's going on now in ohio and north carolina and virginia? but a second thing is the larger atmospherics. what is the effect of having president obama go off the campaign trail back to the white house? the white house just this afternoon released a photo of him meeting in the situation room to get an update on storm damage. it seems to me that has an impact on a race where governor
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romney has been making some progress in recent days. does this kind of freeze things for where they are now. >> woodruff: that's what i wanted to ask you, susan. does one candidate or another pick up an automatic advantage in a situation like this? >> i don't think there's an automatic advantage until we know what happens with this terrible storm. but if the federal government seems to be responding in an effective way, i think that's to president obama's benefit. not only does its make his administration look competent but it makes the case for a government role, the role of government has been one of the fundamental debates between these two candidates. if the federal response does not look so competent we've seen how devastating that can be for incumbent presidents. we saw that with katrina, for instance, and george w. bush. >> woodruff: dan, what about a role for governor romney at a time like this? >> well, it's minimal at this point. i mean he really has to remain essentially invisible. he can't look like he's trying to do anything to exploit the politics of the moment. so in a sense there's more potential up side for president
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obama, but as susan said more potential down side for governor romney i think it is a matter of just kind of waiting and watching and then deciding at what point he can go back out. i mean one of the issues is, does this short circuit kind of the surge of energy that we've seen around the romney campaign? there's no question that there is more energy out there in the republican base and at events he's been holding. does this affect that in some way that would be detrimental to him? these are all he questions that we can't answer tonight. >> woodruff: because we just don't know when they're going to be back on the trail. there's no way to gauge that. >> that's exactly right. i mean, we obviously know they'll be back out at some point later in the week. but we don't know quite they will be able to go. we don't know what states they won't be able to visit that they had planned to visit in the final stretch of this. the campaign manager for president obama was on a conference call today and a reporter from north carolina said, will we see the president back in north carolina before next tuesday? and he hedged on that.
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he said we're doing everything we can to win but we're on a day-to-day assessment of the schedule. for governor romney it's the same kind of situation. there are places he may want to try to go to between now and tuesday that he's not going to be able to get to simply because of lack of time or because of storm damage. >> woodruff: susan, you raised this a minute ago. the impact on voting itself, absentee, early voting and voting on election day. we were hearing a few minutes ago this storm could have an after math that goes on for days. >> you know, we've expected 5 to 40% of the votes to be cast before election day because of the rise in early voting and absentee voting. this affects such a big part of the country. does it affect that number. and which organization is better able to respond to some of these last-minute challenges? i think you would have to say that the obama campaign has a bigger ground operation. they've put more focus on the ground although republicans have done a lot to build up ground operation that was really outclassed four years ago. this is... october... it's the nature an october surprise that
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you do not know exactly they fact it will have. this might affect release of that jobs number on friday we've all been waiting for. even if the jobs number comes out maybe it overwhelms it. who knows. >> woodruff: the unemployment report for the month of october. dan, what about the state o race right now? both of you have been looking at the polls. where does this race stand right now? >> judy, it is very, very very, very close nationally. you mentionedded the pew survey that came out today at 47% each. our new tracking poll which came out at 5:00 today showed both candidates at 49%. there are other polls that show it slightly different. but every indication is that nationally this is a very close race. the question is where do things stand exactly in the battle ground states? the obama campaign has been insistent that they continue to have leads in enough battle ground states to win the election. the romney campaign insists that they are in a position to be
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able to overtake the president in a number of these states. so, we're playing in part a game of spin. somebody is going to be proven right or wrong. we know that some of these states have tightened up from where they were a month ago. i think that as susan said part of the issue is who is going to be able to get their voters out at this point, under what could be some difficult circumstances? >> woodruff: susan, how are you reading these polls right now? >> i'm struck over and over again by the damage that president obama did to his campaign in that first debate. it's like your mother always told you, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. in this pew poll that is just out, more than a third of voters said their impression of governor romney was improved in that first debate. we know from the usa today gallup poll that the first debate had much more impact than the second and third debates. thought president obama won the second and third debates but it's the first debate that had such a big impression. another thing that strikes me. 47-47, 49-49.
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in an election that is that tight and in an election where the president is probably. .. has a slightly better standing in the swing states, we could have the kind of split decision we had in 2000. where president obama wins the electoral college and mitt romney wins the popular vote. that is possible with the scenario we see now. >> woodruff: dan, the pew poll also shows that the voters who favor governor romney say they are more interested, more likely to definitely turn out to vote than are those who are favoring the president. >> yes, and that's a very important indicator. and another factor in that, that same poll shows that republicans are more enthusiastic about voting for governor romney. but earlier in fall, a higher percentage of republicans said they were voting against president obama. today a higher percentage of republicans, a majority say they are voting for governor romney. there has has been a change in enthusiasm. judy, i think one question that
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every pollster and every analyst i've talked to recently is trying to figure out is what will the composition of this electorate be? will republicans equal democrats in the number... percentage of the vote? what will the percentage of white voters be versus nonwhite voters? because this is so close, all of those questions are vitally important. we can't tell that in advance. >> woodruff: finally, susan, in just a few seconds, what do you look for in these final days of the trail to see when the candidates get back out, what they're saying? >> yes, absolutely. and where do they go? you know, they're only going to have a couple days after they can get back on the campaign trail after sandy has done whatever it's going to do. what states do they go to? that tells you what states are really in play. >> woodruff: susan page, dan balz, we thank you both. >> thank you, judy. . >> ifill: now, the impact of big money in the presidential race. we have the first of two reports about how the campaigns are
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targeting voters online. it's part of a multimedia collaboration with "frontline," american public media's marketplace and pro publica. hari sreenivasan begins tonight with a look at all the information available about all of us. t's me at home. surrounded by my digital devices. like many of you, i'm spending more of my time online. it's how i stay connected. it's where i get my news and entertainment. and tv? i still watch it but on my own schedule. and like much of america, i've spent the last few months being inundated by political advertising. seems like no matter where i go, there they are. >> obama wages war on coal. i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan. my promise... >> read my plan. eporter: but we're not seeing this stuff at random. we're being targeted. behind the scenes, teams of digital gurus have been studying
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us and tracking us to deliver tailored video ads, phone calls and strategic door knocks. this could be the year that digital strategies decide what is shaping up to be a razor-close election. but who is watching us? and how much do they know about us? i'm on the hunt for answers. first stop: washington d.c. just a few blocks from the capital tucked away in a non-december crypt building is one of the nation's leading providers of political intelligence. it's called aristotle. the data they gather and sell, our personal information, is big business. and it's the life blood of the digital campaign. without it, no modern presidential campaign can survive. >> this place has metal doors, security cameras, biometric sensors. i'm going to have to try the doorbell. >> reporter: aristotle is a nonpartisan company in a small, mostly partisan industry.
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they're feeding information to both the obama and romney campaigns. and they have supplied voter data to every u.s. president since reagan. but this election is different. today digital technology has given campaigns the ability to take that data and target voters with a precision never before possible. says aristotle ceo john phillips. >> we've been targeting voters for a long time, campaigns have been. what's different about it now? >> a couple of things that have changed. 2012 is a watershed year. what's changed is that the campaigns have found that by using powerful computers and sophisticated software that they are able to quickly sift through these mountains of data and slice and dice the electorate to break down that mass of voters to just the people you want to reach and talk to them about something that is relevant. the magic of the big data is the one-to-one targeting. >> reporter: how is the targeting a guy like me?
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i'm a ridgesterred independent in a battle ground state. >> it starts with the registered voter. the d.n.a. of the electorate. >> reporter: your name, address, gender, race. that's all in the registered voter file. it's available to the campaign. >> now on top of the registered voter file, there might be other information that's added. this information comes from commercial marketing firms. an email address, for instance, if that's known. or telephone number if it's a listed phone number. also added is information such as demographics. they collect information from surveys, from magazine subscriptions. it can be very precise. for instance, if someone subscribes to a magazine about pets, it's a good bet they have a pet at home. and they're a pet owner. >> reporter: how many data points are there about an individual that someone like aristotle has access to. >> it can be up to 500 different data points on each different individual. >> reporter: wouldn't you like to know what the 500 data points they have on you are? i would too but phillips
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declined to show me my own data because i live in virnia where the election privacy laws are unusually strict. the best he could do is show me the kind of data he could collect on a hypothetical voter like me. >> wow. the type of clothes that i buy. whether i have a gold card. if i have a pool. if i have a pet. if i'm a nascar fan. veteran. smoker. but why are these details so valuable to the campaign? so do the campaigns care about what kind of car i drive, what kind of music i listen to? >> only if it has to do... if it says something and predicts something about the way you're going on vote. you may not vote republican because you drive a corvette. but there may be a correlation between people who own corvettes and voting behavior. if there is they're going to exploit that correlation and try to find as many corvette owners as they can. >> reporter: the ability to predict voter behavior is what makes all of this data so
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powerful. once the campaigns collect all of this seemingly random information about us, they feed it into sophisticated mathematical formulas, called algorithms which are used to predict voter behavior. the more information fed into these models, the better a campaign can predict what issues particular voters might care about or what type of ads they would be most receptive to. for example, an ohio male registered democrat who votes primaries, owns a shotgun, visits the wall street journal website, might swing republican and be susceptible to ads about gun control. or a florida female who is registered independent with children under 18 years old and is a pet owner may lean democrat and be susceptible to ads about education issues. thanks to these algorithms, the campaigns can categorize voters into like-minded groups and tailor their advertising directly to them.
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>> what this now shows is when you've done a select of voters in a particular jurisdiction, it will map out where those voters live. >> reporter: which means once the campaigns have used algorithms to decide which voters to target, they lose i have been pet-owning, wash d.c. d.c. nascar fans who care about national security, for instance, the software can lead them right to their front door. >> so a campaign can literally know who on a block-by-block basis is persuadable and only target those people. >> that's correct. reporter: but what makes this year's presidential election different is that political advertisers now have unprecedented access to your on-line browsing data and can deliver tailored ads to you online. >> so the idea here with online is that you can target people very precisely based upon their interests and based upon th the behavior. when you do that, you're more
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likely to get a result that you want. if you're targeting female voters in a particular swing states, those are the people you want to reach. you don't want to reach that person's husband. >> reporter: do i have access to the amount of information that the obama campaign or the romney campaign have on me or a profile like me? >> you're going to have to ask the presidential campaigns for that. >> reporter: that's the secret sauce. >> their strategy is the secret. the tactics and the way that they go bit, many campaigns are very judicious in terms of who they're going to share the information with not because they're particularly concerned about your privacy, hari, but because they are concerned about the next election. >> reporter: so it's all about data and a algorithms to get the biggest bang for your buck. the idea that targeting the right voters will deliver more votes on election day. it's like the money ball of politics. and if i want to see the world series of data intensive digital campaigning, the place to be is here in columbus, ohio. a critical swing state with 18
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electoral votes, ohio has picked the winner in every election since 1964. >> ifill: tomorrow's report focuses on the >> ifill: tomorrow's report focuses on the digital campaign underway in the critical state of ohio. you can watch tomorrow's piece tonight and join a live chat hosted by hari. "big money 2012" airs on "frontline" tomorrow evening. >> woodruff: now, as this divisive and closely fought presidential election sprints to a close, a new book argues the country needs a revived progressive vision. the book is "handmaking america: a back to basics pathway to a revitalized american democracy." the author is bill ivey, former chairman of the national endowment for the arts in the clinton administration. he's now director of vanderbilt university's "u.s.-china center for education and culture." jeffrey brown recently sat down with him.
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. >> welcome. good to be here. brown: i want to put aside politics for a moment because you're making an argument about a crisis in american culture, excessive consumerism, misplaced values. explain what you're seeing. >> what i first saw a few years ago was a huge transformation in the way americans work and live. brought about by forces that are larger than our own society, globalization, the reach of technology and changing demographics. and within that, i felt that america was at a time when we desperately needed to have the strongest possible value space. we needed to be more in touch with the best of the american idea, the best aspects of the american idea. >> brown: value space you say. well, i say the value space. the space where we talk about why we do things, not what we're going to do. i felt that space had emptied out. we had had a very tough first decade of this century.
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i thought the conservative vision of small government, low taxes, big defense, had played itself out and that progressives, liberals, we were flat on our back. >> brown: you use this term hand making i implies a sense of craft, a hands-on. your own background i know from being involved in folklore and music. >> yes. i'm a folklorist and amuse i cannologist. that colors my perspective. i reach back for the foundation of my argument to the late 19th century, to that other transition, the industrial revolution, and to the krettics who pushed back against it. and to the critics who pushed back against it. public intellectuals of the day who recognized the cllenges of industrial production and the new reach of capitalism and really tried to present a vision of artisanship and craftsmanship as a kind of alternative. i touch rather lightly on them but i use them as a starting
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point. >> brown: if you use them and look at cultural problems and then like at the political divisiveness in the situation in politics today, how does it jibe? what exactly are you calling for? >> i think we need to rediscover progressive values and put them forward. if the reader buys my argument that the values space has in a sense emptied out, if the conservative view has failed after 35 years and that liberals have kind of stepped to the side, i think we can talk about our own view of how american society should work and what things we have to do or not do in order to realize that vision. >> brown: make it concrete. give us an example. what would be different in this vision? >> i think we're wrong-footed in our approach to education. we are doing hard work
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earnestly, but i believe that we need to train citizens first and workers second. some years back, the marketplace business came into the world of education. education asked, what do you want? business said we want workers. now education has become all about training workers and all about income and all about salary and career. it needs to be about citizenship first and working second. i think we need a four-day workweek in this country. i think we need to suppress productivity. >> brown: you're often making arguments that really call on more of a role of government at a time when we're having an argument over that very thing. >> i think that's true. i think that this is, in fact -- and we may talk about this in a moment -- a values election. i'm arguing for not bigger government but i think different government. president obama in the recent debate said in passing, you know, there are things that we do better together. i think we've lost sight as a
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society of the way in which a democratic government can organize our best instincts to actually produce things that benefit the entire society. we haven't worked that way for a long time. i think it's going to take a change in habit to begin to think of government as a place where we can put our best instincts to achieve sharedded goals. >> brown: what interests me though is i travel around the country doing political stories, seeing people. a lot of the energy and the anger about the system and the emotion out there -- it is there -- a lot of these days politically is on the right. that would be the tea party. now you're arguing that they have it all wrong in a sense. >> well, i think they have it all wrong for the right reasons. i think if you look at occupy wall street or the tea party, or our gridlocked congress or unrest in the middle east, i think you see a set of unsettled responses to unsettled times. when i talk about the influence of globalization or the
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influence of advancing technology and changing demographics, my feeling is that what that produces is the same kind of anxiety that was no doubt felt 100-plus years ago when the industrial revolution was changing agricultural society upsidedown. so i think that the tea party is responding to a real problem. i don't think that notion of doubling down and saying not only do we need small government, which we already have a kind of shrunken public realm, but we need even smaller government is right direction. >> brown: here we are in the midst of a campaign. if you use the word values campaign, i think. >> yes. brown: what are we not hearing? from either side? i mean, what is missing in this campaign that you think needs to be out there. >> it's very interesting. i think that this is a values campaign because at the conclusion of this election, this country will move in a new direction. i think that the republican
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argument -- we will keep you safe. we will keep uncle sam off your back. we will keep washington out of your wallet -- needs to be counteracted with an argument that says you are not alone, you can live with purpose to work, family and community. america is still a beacon on a hill. we owe it to each other. those i think are the underlying values. i think the american people feel that this is a values election, but i don't think the campaigns or the candidates are feeding the need to really understand what these underlying issues are. >> brown: all right. the new book is hand making america. bill ivey, thanks very much. >> you're very welcome. thank you. >> woodruff: on art beat you can find more of jeff's conversation with bill >> woodruff: on art beat, you can find more of jeff's conversation with bill ivey. >> ifill: finally tonight, an artist roams the internet to create his works. his palette: virtual images
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recorded by google's ever- present street view cameras. our report was produced by kqed san francisco. correspondent scott shafer narrates the story. >> maybe you've seen it. google's street view car crossing america. its detached mechanical eye recording every avenue. sometimes capturing us in its glare. you could see it as cool or intrusive. photographer doug rickard sees it as makings of art. >> all of these lines looking at the cameras, this especially here with this sort of tilt forward of the head, it just embeds into it a certain of sort of i guess almost mike music in a way. >> reporter: from his home studio outside sacramento rickard has traveled thousands of virtual miles combing the streets of america in search of images that resonate. >> i just start driving through looking for potential pictures.
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>> reporter: rickard remembers that first flash of inspiration. >> my wheels started turning. i was sitting there. i picked up my i-phone and i started taking a picture of the screen like this, sort of moving it around and moving the cursor and composing these scenes. >> reporter: ironically rickard says it was the technology that produced a haunting, intimate feel. >> you've got a camera looking down. you've got blurred faces of the all of the angles and the lines sort of skew out because of the fixed wide angle lens and their stitching. the actual dynamics of the camera within google emphasized the way that i wanted to speak in these images. >> reporter: images that have made their way to the permanent collection of the san francisco museum of modern art. >> i was really blown away by the work when i saw it right away. >> reporter: erin is the
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assistant curator of photography. >> he is not the only one who has used google street view but i think he comes at it from this really sophisticated and very educated point of view. it resonates much more deeply than some of the other work that i've seen. >> reporter: you have this distinct feeling, more of a feeling of decay. it is really happening. >> reporter: rickard's work is new, owe tool says, but grounded in the past. walker evan, dorothy lang, robert frank. their iconic images documented the plight of the poor and divisions in race and class. >> doug has a similar, you know, sort of social dock euptary purpose behind this work. it's art but it also has a deep sort of political message to it. >> the sort of drive-by
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picture-taking is symbolic in a way of the anonymous, you know, nature of how these people live. even the textures of the images which is almost broken down in terms of the digital artifacts and the picks layings, it feels poetic i think is the right word. >> reporter: rickard manipulates the original google images to heighten that sense of isolation. lik his predecessors, he wants to shed a spotlight on those often out of view. >> they're invisible. you know, they're cordoned off. in terms of voice and in terms of economic power. >> there's beauty but there's also, you know, sort of desolation and loneliness. >> reporter: rickard says all he has to do is type three letters into a search engine to delve into an america in struggle.
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m-l-k. >> m-l-k is just a massive symbol of hope. i'm using him to locate where there's little hope. the images need to almost challenge the viewer, almost provoke them like this. >> reporter: much of rickard's work is pushing against his past. he grew up in manicured sub urban los gados. his father was an evangelical preacher who idolized america. >> i studied civil rights and slavery. i was so affected by an american story that was so different from the way that i had seen our country. i remember just being furious, you know. >> reporter: it's that fury and indignation that have fueled rickard's work but because he's
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not on the scene taking the photographs, it's also controversial. on-line viewer comments can range from compelling and fascinating work to... >> this guy says lazy, pathetic and entirely uninteresting. so it's all over the board. people have commented that i'm not even a photographer. >> of course it's photography. yeah, i think that what doug is doing is looking through the... through google as part of his lens. the internet is helping redefine what it means to be a photographer. >> you see this? then you come right into here. there's damage. >> reporter: in fact, rickard says in an ocean of digital imagery creating something special is becoming more and more difficult. no matter how easy the tools are. >> i think it really boils down to what you bring to it. you know, that's between your ears ultimately. art is about ideas. it's about how you're wired and
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how you're driven, obsessions, and what you have to say. and i think that we're in an era >> reporter: what started as an idea in rickard's head in his home studio has spread to an ongoing international conversation. his collection, called a new american picture, has moved beyond the bay area to the center in paris and as far away as korea and japan. >> things are changing rapidly. photography is being affected. >> reporter: rickard is happy to advance the conversation, even in a time where those in the art world, especially in photography, are anxious over the impact of a digital age. >> our tools and our abilities to speak are being opened up and shifted into new territory. it's a never-ending ocean of
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potential. >> ifill: that was artist doug rickard in a story produced by our colleagues at k.q.e.d., san francisco. >> woodruff: the major developments of day. millions of americans braced for the impact of hurricane sandy as the giant storm began battering its way on shore in the northeast and mid-atlantic. president obama and governors of the states in sandy's path appealed to people not to try to ride it out. and the hurricane scrambled the presidential campaign schedule. both candidates canceled events to monitor the situation. and for something very different, a country known for its healthful diet sees a boom in obesity. once again to hari sreenivasan for more. >> sreenivasan: traditional greek food is famous for conferring longevity, but more and more greeks are abandoning it for fast or processed food. jon miller of homelands productions visited crete as part of our "food for nine billion" series. find that story on the rundown. and it's monday: that means larry kotlikoff answers more of your very specific questions about social security.
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that's on making sense. all that and our live blog covering the developments of hurricane sandy are on our web site, nbewshour.pbs.org. gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll update the damage done by hurricane sandy. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: has transported travelers to another world. a world of dramatic landscapes, majestic castles, and remarkable characters, all brought to life on board a modern cruise vessel so travelers can spend less time getting there and more time being there. viking cruises, exploring the world in comfort.
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